planningThere are thousands of stories in the underground economy. Many of them — too many — are renovation horrors.

Professional renovators can tell you about them. They know, because they are often the people who are called in for rescue work, to clean up the messes and put projects on the right course.

There’s the story of the boyfriend of a friend of a friend, getting into the renovation business, anxious for work, who said he’d undercut anyone, for cash. Yes, he’d re-do your bathroom, yes indeedy. What did you want? New floor, new tub, new shower, new walls? The boyfriend didn’t show up for the first three times he said he would. Finally he spent a day or two, did the job, demanded to be paid. In cash, of course. And then he was gone.

When the leaks started happening and the tub came away from the wall and there was mould everywhere, there was nothing the homeowners could do but call a professional to rip it all out and start again.

Same thing with the woman who wanted new windows. In this case, she didn’t pay cash; she paid with a credit card. It seemed fine, above board. But the company disappeared soon after the windows were installed. When snow and rain started getting into her house and destroying walls and siding, there was no recourse but costly repairs.

Then there was the story of the three-year-old, expensively-renovated, kitchen that was literally falling apart piece by piece.

The company that did the renovation simply closed down, changed names, and started all over again… fleecing yet another round of homeowners.

It’s a hard way to learn a lesson. Hard and expensive.

And there’s really only one way to be sure — absolutely sure — it won’t happen to you: Look for renovators who are members of the RenoMark™ program.

RenoMark™ immediately differentiates between the amateurs and professionals. When you see that RenoMark™ logo, you know you’re safe.

RenoMark™ renovators must pay a fee to join. They must also follow detailed guidelines. They pledge to call you back quickly, to stay in touch, to be courteous, to enforce strict workplace safety. They must carry $2 million liability insurance.

They must also:

  • Give you a detailed written contract for all jobs, big or small
  • Provide a minimum two-year warranty on all work except minor repair
  • Carry the proper licenses and permits
  • Keep their worksite organized and safe
  • In the Ottawa area, be a member in good standing of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) and abide by the GOHBA Code of Ethics
  • Stay current, through consistent and continuing education, in their professional knowledge of building codes, permit procedures and technical skills.

When it’s time to hire a contractor or renovator, it comes down to one important question: Can this company be held accountable?

The RenoMark™ program answers “yes”.

The rest speaks for itself.